The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Knife Sharpening

Tips for Sharpening Hunting, Tactical, and Pocket Knives

Our friend Mike over at Cutler Road was kind enough to write a post for us detailing the best way to sharpen your knives. You can find more of his tips on his blog.


The majority of factory-sharpened knives come with a relatively steep bevel angle of approximately 25 degrees. This gives them an acceptably sharp edge, which retains its sharpness with considerable use, and ultimately keeps the consumer happy.

Improvements can be made to the sharpness of most factory-finished knives by decreasing the angle of the bevel edge slightly. Having a shallower angle will give a sharper edge; the downside is the edge will become blunt more quickly.

Machetes and axes have the steepest angle at approximately 35 degrees. A cut throat razor, at the other end of the scale, is approximately 15 degrees. An angle of 20 degrees is a very good compromise between sharpness and edge retention for pocket knives, tactical knives, and hunting knives.

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Do you want a knife sharpener that sharpens every knife under the sun?

Imagine, if you dare, a perfect world, where you spend your days being fanned by supermodels and drinking mojitos on a deserted beach.

If such a scenario existed–if you could have everything you heart desired–you’d also likely have a treasure trove of blades.

You’d own pocket knives, boot knives, Bowie knives, knives with tanto blades, serrated knives, gut hook knives, kitchen knives, filet knives and every other knife under the sun.

And how would you sharpen all of those blades?  Well, a magical knife sharpener capable of sharpening every knife under the sun, of course!

But, wait, you don’t have to be enveloped in a day dream to own the world’s most versatile knife sharpener; all you have to do is buy it.

Introducing the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, the first knife sharpener designed to sharpen every knife you own.

The Knife & Tool Sharpener uses precision angle sharpening guides to ensure that you get the proper angle every time you sharpen.

This bad boy packs two primary guides,:  a 50° guide for hunting and outdoor knives (25° per bevel) and a 40° guide for thinner blades and kitchen knives (20° per bevel).

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Happy Labor Day. Here’s a tutorial on how to sharpen a pocket knife

Labor day is one of those holidays where your pocket knife is bound to come in handy.  Whether you’re fishing, camping, or just cooking out, you’ll undoubtedly use your blade for something.

Lifehacker, which is a blog you should definitely check out, had a pretty swell post today on how to make a four-prong campfire toasting fork using your pocket knife.  Of course, if you’re going to be using your pocket knife, it’s best to make sure it’s sharp.  Here’s a brief tutorial on how to get your knife up to snuff. First, what you’ll need.

A sharpening stone

There are a ton of sharpening stone options out there, but if you’re just starting out, then ceramic stones are a a pretty good bet, as they don’t need any lubricant.  An Arkansas Stone or a Diamond Bench Stone are also two good basic models to go with.

A lubricant

Depending on what sort of stone you’ve chosen, a lubricant might be necessary.  Many stones are designed to be used with a certain sort of lubricant, so it’s important to do some research and see what sort of lubricant your sharpening stone may need.

What to Do

Place your stone in one hand and put your knife on the flat side of the stone.  Then, push the knife forward at an angle, approximately fifteen to twenty degrees off the stone. You should hear a smooth, grating sound as you push it forward.  Work the knife back and forth between 3 and 5 times. Flip the knife over and sharpen the other side as well.

It’s a pretty easy process, but best explained via a visual aid, which is why I’ve included this totally strange video of a 13-year old knife wizard showing how it’s done.  Enjoy and have a great Labor Day!

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